July 26 - Syrian State TV airs footage of government forces it says are fighting terrorist groups and rebels in Damascus. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Syrian state TV airs footage of government forces fighting on the streets of Damascus. They government says they are fighting armed terrorists. (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED GOVERNMENT SOLIDER, SAYING: "We are here because the civilians requested that we come and liberate the country from terrorists and armed gangs". Damascus and Syria's second biggest city, Aleppo, have come under heavy fighting as President Bashar al-Assad steps up efforts to crush rebel forces. A bomb attack that killed four of Assad's closest lieutenants last week prompted his enemies to say that Assad time in power is drawing to a close. But in the days that have followed Assad's forces have noticeably toughened their response. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters